For many people, social media is an integral part of daily life,… especially now, during a pandemic. It’s where you share information or vent. It’s where you stay connected to others and receive support. Naturally, it might be the first place you turn when going through divorce. Unfortunately, social media can make divorce complicated and contentious. If you’re a social media user, here are some important tips on using social media during divorce.
1 – Assume Your Ex Can See Everything
Even if your Facebook account is private and only friends can see your comments, this doesn’t mean your ex-spouse won’t see anything. The reality is, you and your ex- undoubtedly have friends and acquaintances in common. It’s very likely that one of them will mention to your ex or even show him/her what you’ve written. Assume that anything you write will be seen by your ex and possibly the divorce mediator or judge. This is one of the most important tips on using social media during divorce.
2 – Avoid Slander
During divorce, it’s very common for one or both parties to exaggerate a bit and to say things to intentionally hurt the other. It’s human nature and partially a defense mechanism. No matter what your security settings, social media sites are public forums. Sharing information that may not be completely true and that may damage someone’s reputation can be considered slander. You could be held liable for the damage caused.
The effects of your statements may not be obvious at the time you write them. For instance, let’s say you comment about how awful a person your ex is. Maybe you exaggerate a bit about some things that happened. You’re so angry that you even tag your ex, so that everyone sees it. Your ex applies for a job and the hiring manager searches social media (which is common for employers to do these days). The manager notices that another person at the company is a Facebook friend of your ex’s. That friend pulls up social media to browse through information with the hiring manager, and they see your comments. They decide not to hire your ex. Could your ex argue that your slanderous posts resulted in lost employment opportunities and income? That is certainly a possibility!
3 – Think About How Your Comments Make YOU Look
Sometimes we’re so caught up in our anger and intent to punish an ex for his/her actions, that we fail to see wrongdoing in our own actions. Don’t make this mistake. Venting on social media can make you appear unreasonable or the antagonist. In your effort to gain support by sharing your side of the story, you may actually lose support. This is one of many divorce mistakes commonly made. Also, it makes friends and acquaintances feel a bit uncomfortable. Before your share something intended to make your ex look bad, think first about how those comments might make you look.
4 – Don’t Share Anything About Your Divorce
Our last and most important tips on using social media during divorce is not to talk about your divorce or your ex at all. It’s really not the right forum for your grievances and it has the potential to really harm your case. As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, choose just one or two confidants that you trust.
Summary of Tips on Using Social Media During Divorce
Social media is not a safe place to share and vent when it comes to divorce. You should assume that your ex-spouse can see everything and that not everyone in your account supports your point of view. Even if friends do support you, the information you post can hurt those friendships. Additionally, exaggerating or even lying can have legal consequences. For your own benefit, it’s best not to use social media at all for divorce topics. For additional advice and tips on issues you may encounter in your divorce, contact our team to schedule a consultation.